Chef Kitchen

T.O. Food & Drink Fest 2023 | March 31 – April 2 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre

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Friday, March 31

7:00 – 8:00 pm

Mark McEwan

From his early years as Canada’s youngest ever, executive chef at Toronto’s upscale Sutton Place Hotel to his latest endeavor, trendy resto bar Fabbrica, Mark McEwan is never content to rest on his laurels.

Using food as the ultimate palate for his boundless creativity and energy, McEwan has led the restaurant scene in Toronto for many years. He joins the ranks of the truly innovative with groundbreaking Toronto standards from “North 44” to “Bymark” to the always interesting “ONE”, a staple for the “see and be seen” crowd in Yorkville. With “Fabbrica”, he has taken another turn and captivated customers with rustic Italian fare in a warm, yet contemporary setting in Thornbury as well at in the PATH in downtown Toronto.

But, it doesn’t stop with dining. In early 2009 he turned his attention to upscale gourmet food and opened McEwan at The Shops at Don Mills. Always attentive to the changing needs of the consumer, he created a jewel box of a grocery store that caters to foodies and chefs alike. The Don Mills store was followed by a second, smaller store in the PATH under the TD Towers.

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His best selling cookbook “Great Food At Home” added author to his resume and he hasn’t stopped there. In late 2011 Mark, with the help of Jacob Richler once again wowed us with “Fabbrica” the cookbook based on the recipes featured in his latest restaurant.

Mark has also added television personality to his long list of talents and is currently the head judge on “Top Chef Canada” and judge on “Chopped Canada”. His first show for The Food Network, “The Heat” was a riveting behind the scenes look at North 44 Caters as well as the building of McEwans grocery store – a ratings winner.

Mark recently took over the food and beverage at the Aga Khan museum catering to large groups and running Diwan, a restaurant focused on food inspired by the Middle East, and North Africa.

Recipe: Rainbow Trout with Clams and Italian Sausage

When you pan-roast a fresh fillet of trout to give it crisp skin along with its firm, sweet flesh, it needs little other enhancement. But whether it needs it or not, it still tastes better bind it all with butter, lemon, and a hint of tomato. SERVES 4

o 4 tbsp (60 mL) olive oil

o 1 hot Italian sausage, casing removed

o ¼ cup (60 mL) minced onion

o 1 clove garlic, minced

o 2 lb (1kg) clams, scrubbed and flushed

o ½ cup (125 mL) white wine o 4 trout fillets (each about 8oz/250 g)

o Salt and pepper

o 1 tbsp (15 mL) basic tomato sauce

o 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter

o 1 tbsp (15 mL) minced parsley

o 1 tbsp (15 mL) fine olive oil

o Squeeze of lemon juice

Set a rack in the top shelf of the oven and preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the olive oil in a small skillet on medium heat. Add the sausage, break it up with a wooden spoon, and stir until it is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside. In a large skillet or sauté pan, sweat the onion in 2 tbsp (30 mL) of the olive oil until it begins to wilt, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sweat a minute longer. Add the clams, raise the heat, and add the white wine. Let it boil for 1 minute, then cover and lower heat to simmer. In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high, heat the remaining 1 tbsp (15mL) olive oil. Pat trout fillets dry and season on both sides with salt and pepper. Add the fillets, skin side down, to the pan. When, after 2 or 3 minutes, the skin begins to crisp, transfer the skillet to the oven until the fish is cooked through, about 4 minutes. Arrange the fish on 4 warm plates (or a platter) skin side up. As the clams begin popping open, arrange them around the fillets. (Discard any that do not open,) Raise heat and reduce cooking liquid by half. Stir in the tomato sauce and sausage. When heated through, stir in the butter, parsley, and lemon juice. Adjust the seasonings and spoon over the fish and clams. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.


Induction Cooktops
Wooden Spoons
Measuring Cups/ Spoons
Color-Coded Cutting Boards
Mixing Bowls
Skillet x 2
Pot/ Lid
Kitchen Paper Towels
Kitchen Towels
Sanitizer Wipes
Hand Soap

8:30 – 9:30 pm

Michael Hunter


In 2015 Michael and Jody Shapiro opened Antler and have since had numerous accolades from the top new restaurant lists in Toronto Life, Air Canada en route magazine, Eater magazine, Dine magazine and Post City magazine. Michael has been invited to cook around the world in culinary festivals in the United States, United Arab Emirates, Australia, Russia and Brazil.

Hunter is a firm believer that anyone and everyone should have the option to access truly wild, organic meat in a sustainable way. At Antler they serve their guests game with regularly foraged indigenous Ontario herbs and edible flowers, along with an annual leek picks and one-off mushroom gathering trips.

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When he isn’t in the restaurant Michael and his family enjoy being in the wilderness. “I am always in the woods; I love the outdoors. There is just something about finding your own ingredients as a chef. It is a fulfilling, primal thing for me,” he said. “It has become a huge part of my life.”

Michael’s first cookbook “The Hunter Chef” hit stores in the beginning of October 2020!

Recipe: Roasted turkey with goat cheese, wild mushroom, and leek stuffing

Serves 4


1 cup (250 mL) + 1 tablespoon (15 mL) unsalted butter, divided

1⁄2 cup (125 mL) minced white onion

1⁄4 cup (60 mL) minced celery

1⁄2 pound (225 g) wild mushrooms, washed, patted dry, and chopped
1⁄2 pound (225 g) wild leeks, white bulbs separated from green leaves and chopped
4 teaspoons (20 mL) minced garlic
1 pound (450 g) soft goat cheese, crumbled
3 cups (750 mL) cubed white sourdough or artisanal bread, crusts removed
2 boneless wild turkey breasts (about 1 pound/450 g each) 1 tablespoon (15 mL) olive oil
1 teaspoon (5 mL) kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper


Stuff and Cook the Turkey

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 cup (250 mL) of the butter. Add the onion, celery, mushrooms, chopped leek bulbs, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the goat cheese, leek greens, and cubed bread and stir to combine. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature before stuffing the turkey breasts.

Using a boning knife, make a 2-inch (5 cm) cut along the fat end of each turkey breast and push the knife into the centre, making a pocket along the inside of the entire breast. Gently fill the breasts with the stuffing.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 mL) butter. Season the turkey breasts all over with salt and pepper and gently sear both sides. Transfer to the oven and cook to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C), 20 to 30 minutes. Let the meat rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing.


1 teaspoon (5 mL) unsalted butter

1 teaspoon (5 mL) olive oil 1⁄4 pound (115 g) wild mushrooms, washed,patted dry, and cut in half lengthwise
1 pound (450 g) asparagus spears, trimmed
1 cup (250 mL) freshly shucked green peas
Kosher salt and pepper

Cook the Spring Vegetables

While the turkey rests, in a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the mushrooms, asparagus, and peas. Season with a pinch each of salt and pepper and cook until the vegetables are tender, 3 to 4 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to toss the vegetables so they cook evenly. Remove from the heat.

To serve, slice the turkey breasts and divide among plates along with the vegetables.

Saturday, April 1

1:00 – 2:00 pm

Raquel Fox


Chef Raquel Fox grew up in The Bahamas where she learned to love the nuances of traditional island cooking from her grandmother. Always a seeker for knowledge, she attended international schools where she catalogued authentic family recipes from a melting pot of friends from all over the globe. Raquel had a wider vision.

After moving to Canada, she studied at The Chef School at George Brown College in Toronto, where she explored all aspects of cooking, food culture and international cuisine. She designed and now teaches the Caribbean Course and is a member of the International Cuisine Program Advisory Committee (PAC) at George Brown College. She often invited to events as a motivational speaker. Raquel is the award-winning author of Dining in Paradise, which won a Gourmand Award and was also nominated in 2019 for The Taste Canada Awards, and celebrated that year at Canada’s Table (Fort York).

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Recently, Raquel was honoured to become a winner of the Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards, a program that has been the leader in sharing and celebrating inspiring stories of immigrants. In addition, Raquel also was presented with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pin 2022 presented by M.P Tony Van Bynen. She proudly represents her Bahamian roots. Raquel is a regular contributor and guest expert on TV shows across Canada including (but not limited to) Cityline, Your Morning, Breakfast Television and Global News. Raquel is a spokesperson for Foodland Ontario. She reaches millions of viewers each month with her charismatic style across this medium.

Recipe: Steamed Ontario Rainbow Trout with Sweet Potato Mash

Island Gurl Bahama Steam Sauce is a zesty tomato-based sauce that is simply paradise in a bottle. It’s the perfect complement for fresh Ontario Rainbow Trout, complemented with Caribbean Sweet Potato Mash for a tasty island dish.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Yields: 4 Servings


4 Ontario Rainbow Trout Fillets (4 oz/125g each)

2 tsp (10 mL) fine sea salt

1 tsp (5 mL) black pepper (optional)

3 Tbsp (45 mL) vegetable or canola oil

1-360 mL bottle Island Gurl Bahama Steamed Sauce

½ each Ontario Red, Orange, and Yellow Bell Peppers, sliced (optional)

2 tsp (10 mL) fresh Ontario parsley

1 Recipe Caribbean Sweet Potato Mash (

1. On a large plate, season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper (if using).

2. Heat a large skillet with oil over medium-high heat, add fish skin side down, cook for 5 minutes, flip, and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Transfer to plate, set aside.

3. Add the bell peppers, cook for 3 minutes. Lower the heat to medium heat, add the sauce bring up to simmer, return the fish to the pan, spoon sauce over fish, add parsley, cover with lid and steam for 1 minute. Remove from heat, serve over Sweet Potato Mash, spooning sauce over fish, garnish bell peppers, parsley and serve at once.

Tip: If you like bell peppers more al dente, add after steamed sauce and cook for 1-2 minutes.



2 Induction cooktops

1 kettle or small saucepan with lid

1 fish spatula

2 tongs

2 wooden spoons

1 large plate or small sheet pan (with parchment paper)

2 mixing bowls (1 medium, 1 small)

1 wire mesh strainer

2 colour coded cutting boards

1 large skillet with lid

1 medium saucepan with lid

5 serving plates

Silverware (5 forks, 5 knives, 2 teaspoons, 1 tablespoon)

Kitchen paper towels

1-4 cup wet measuring cup

4 water glasses

Kitchen padded mat, towels

Food service sanitizer/spray bottle

Hand soap

Dish soap

Dish sponge

Food thermometer

Refrigerator thermometer


Chef Raquel’s Equipment to bring:

French knife

Fillet knife

Small prep. dishes



3:00 – 4:00 pm

Tawnya Brant


Mohawk Nation Turtle clan citizen Tawnya Brant is Chef Owner of Yawékon Foods and Yawékon By Chef Tawnya Brant. A take out lunch counter and catering service that focuses on Haudenosaunee traditional and contemporary cuisine. She grew up in her home community of Six Nations of the Grand River. Tawnya spent her foundational years with a kitchen filled with Indigenous harvests and wild game. She has also worked in the restaurant industry for 28 years and is a Top Chef Canada Season 10 finalist!

Tawnya has also been featured on The Social, APTN In Focus, Canadian Living, Food & Drink and Chatelaine Magazine. Chef Tawnya spent over a decade as a freelance support Chef opening prime franchise restaurants. After becoming a mother she switched her focus to Indigenous foods and catering, founding Yawékon Foods as a focus on Haudenosaunee culinary roots. Since 2014 she has travelled across North America sharing her cuisine and food philosophy. Chef Tawnya opened Yawékon by Chef Tawnya Brant in her home territory of Ohswé:ken to amplify her impact on sharing indigenous foods to both her community and internationally.

Recipe: Juniper and ramp braised bison over bluecorn mush and blue Hubbard squash purée


Juniper and Ramp Braised Bison

2lb Bison roast
12 Crushed juniper berries
8 dried fresh or powdered ramp leaves
8 Labrador tea leaves
2 onions
2 celery stalks
2 carrots
1/2tsp Salt
1/2tsp pepper
4 cups bison or beef stock
3tbsp Cornstarch


Place roast into Dutch oven or slow cooker with all ingredients except cornstarch. Bake at 350 for 3hours or overnight on low. When done shred bison.
Bring all liquid to a boil. Add cornstarch to 1/2c cold water to make a sslurry.
Add slurry to boiling liquid to make gravy. Add bison to grav

Bluecorn grits


1c Bluecorn hominy grits
3c Water
1tsp Salt
1/4tsp Pepper


Boil water and salt.
Add cornflour to boiling water while whisking constantly. Boil until desired doneness. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Top with braised bison.
Blue Hubbard squash purée


Dried squash blossom powder

5:00 – 6:00 pm

Afrim Pristine


Maître Fromager (Cheese Master), Afrim Pristine is Canada’s premier cheese expert with over 25 years of experience in the art of cheese making and co-owner of Cheese Boutique alongside his brother Agim. From studying with some of the world’s greatest cheesemakers like Luigi Guffanti, Stefano Sarti, Carl Schilt, Jean-Paul Morin as well as hands on training from his father and world’s most renowned dairy farms, Afrim’s passion and commitment stems from his father and family business of 52 years, Cheese Boutique.

In the spring of 2021 his television show premiered! He is the host of Food Network Canada’s first ever docu-series “Cheese- A Love Story” with 6 X one hour episodes which can also be viewed on STACKTV on Amazon Prime and was just picked up by Hulu in the US! Afrim’s first cookbook “For the Love of Cheese” hit shelves in October 2018 and is a bestseller! He is currently working on his second book- so stay tuned!

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As one of the world’s youngest “Maitre Fromager”, an honour bestowed in February 19, 2013, by the France based Guilde Internationale des Fromagers, an exclusive association representing more than 5,000 dairy professionals worldwide, Afrim is the only Canadian to receive this title, awarded to those who demonstrate exceptional cheese knowledge and recognized within their community.

Prior to that achievement, Afrim was also the youngest Canadian recipient to the “Chevalier,” a distinction from the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Taste Fromage de France (March 2007), following an upgraded status to “Officier du Fromage” in April 2010. He was also awarded with Top 30 Under 30 in the Food Industry by Ontario Hostelry Institute.

Afrim is actively involved with charities and foundations he’s passionate about including CAMH, Sick Kids Hospital, Women in Capital Markets, Toronto & Etobicoke Humane Society, St. Joseph’s Hospital and more.

He’s also instrumental in continuing to build relationships and collaborations with some of Canada’s top chefs and restaurants including Momofuku, Alo, Langdon Hall, Canoe, La Palma, Scaramouche and Piano Piano to name a few and chefs such as Michael Bonacini, Mark McEwan, Daniel Boulud, David Chang and Lynn Crawford.

Afrim’s media appearances include The Marilyn Denis Show, City TV’s Breakfast Television, CTV’s Your Morning, Food Network, and expert consulting for Top Chef Canada, MasterChef, Chopped Canada and more. Most recently, he was honoured as top 50 Most Influential People in Canadian Food by the Globe and Mail, July 2016, and named top 10 Most Influential People in the Food Industry by LCBO Food & Drink Magazine.

Recipe: International Cheese and Charcuterie 101



– 175gr ontario 3yr aged mountain oak gouda
– 175gr 2yr PEI award winning cheddar
– 175gr French valencay goat cheese
– 175gr quebec LA liberte
– 175gr quebec blue Elizabeth
– 175gr 12mth organic Spanish Manchego


– green cerignola olives
– Spanish marcona almonds
– fig jam
– green grapes
– flatbread
– baguette
– pickled carrots



cutting boards to cut cheese on
small ramekins (6 PCS)
white rags

7:00 – 8:00 pm

Romain Avril


Born in Paris, France in 1985, Chef Romain Avril discovered his passion for cooking at the early age of thirteen.  By seventeen, he was working at a 1 Michelin Star restaurant in Brittany (France). He obtained his bachelor’s degree in French and Chinese gastronomy, while concurrently working at 1 and 2-star Michelin restaurants as well as Relais et Chateaux venues.

At 21, Avril moved to London and began cooking at The Greenhouse in Mayfair.  It was at this 2 Michelin Star restaurant that Avril had the opportunity to try his culinary hand at feeding important UK politicians and well-known celebrities.

It was in England that Avril began moving away from his classic French training and towards fusion and molecular gastronomy.  In 2010, Avril decided to move to Canada; a country he had briefly visited as a teenager and vowed to come back to.  He started as a Sous Chef at Colborne Lane Restaurant in Toronto, then moved on to open Origin North Restaurant and Bar as the Chef De Cuisine.  Finally, he achieved Executive Chef at the renowned La Société Bistro.  He then took on the big project of opening Lavelle restaurant as well as Goldie Bar.  His latest project was opening Neruda, in the Beaches area of Toronto.

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In 2017 Chef Romain created his own company “Romain Avril Inc.” and is currently working on opening his first restaurant.  Avril has launched a YouTube Channel and a podcast and will soon be launching his vegan cookbook.

He has represented brands such as Google, Nespresso, Club House, Goose Island, Circle K, Ace Bakery, South Paw Era and Zwilling.  He has appeared on TV segments and shows on numerous occasions, including the Food Network Canada channel.  He has been featured in multiple food, lifestyle, home and fashion magazines.

Romain is fully bi-lingual, in fact, English is his second language. He approaches everything he does with a quick wit, a charming smile and an infectious laugh. He is truly delightful to learn from and loves helping to educate food fanatics of any level.

Recipe: Tuna Tartare

(4 portions)

Yellowfin tuna: 12 oz

Dice small pieces of the tuna and place it in the fridge

Soy dressing:


Red onion: 30 gr
Garlic: 12 gr
Ginger: 12 gr
Sambal: 12 gr
Soy sauce: 72 gr
Canola oil: 72 gr


Dice the onions and add them into a blender with the garlic and ginger and blitz until smooth.
Add the sambal, the soy sauce and emulsify with the canola oil.
Store in the fridge

Pickled ginger:


Rice vinegar: 150 ml
Chili: 2 gr
Sugar: 150 gr
Saffron: 0.5 gr
Ginger: 30 gr


In a small pot, bring into a simmer the vinegar, diced red chilis, the sugar and the saffron
Peel the ginger with a spoon and slice it on a mandolin as thin as possible
Pour the liquid over the ginger and let it cool naturally.


Daikon rolls: 12 pieces
Nori chips: 4 pieces
Chopped coriander: 2 table spoon
GS apple brunoise: 100 gr
Red Shizo cress: 12 pieces
Coriander cress: 12 pieces
Pine nuts: 50 gr



Slice a 4” long et 1.5” wide piece of daikon.
Slice it on the mandoline to create a perfectly smooth side. On the thinnest setting, make perfect ribbon with the daikon.
Wrap the ribbons around your finger to create little tubes and place it on a rectangle box for service.

Nori chips:

Create in a mixing bowl a slurry, by adding water and rice flour together.
In the deep fryer, drop the nori chips after they had a slurry bath and fry them until crispy. Season while hot and reserve on paper towel to drain the excess fat.

Grany smith apple dice:

Make a brunoise of apple and store in a lemon water mix to avoid the apple oxidising.

Chopped Coriander:

Wash thoroughly the coriander and dry it in a salad spinner
Chopped it finely and store it.


In a stainless-steel bowl, mix the dice tuna, chopped coriander, pine nuts, apple brunoise and a couple spoons of the dressing.
Create a perfect halo in a coupe plate, add the pickled ginger, 3 daikon tubes, coriander cress and the shizo on top of the halo.
Break the nori into pieces and place them in the centre of the halo.



Induction cooktops
2 small saucepan
2 medium size saucepan
1 food processor (vitamix type)
Tasting spoons
Cutting boards (1 blue, 1 green or wooden)
Mixing bowls all sizes
Small strainer
Plates (please send choices ahead of time) I might bring one then we can have tasting plates for the guests + silverware
Sponge + soap + wipes
Oil for frying
Paper towels
1 small frying pan
Water access for hand washing

I will bring:
Knives + tools
J cloth
Litres. 1/2 litres

8:30 – 9:30 pm

Devan Rajkumar


Chef Devan Rajkumar, aka “Chef Dev” is as dynamic a culinary personality as there is in the ever-changing food and lifestyle landscape. He possesses a masterful balance of skill, passion, and energy that consistently wows television audiences, foodie fans, and clients alike.

Classically trained, Chef Devan has plowed his way through top-tier kitchens, marquee television programming, and much-lauded series’, pushing the boundaries of innovation, creativity, and culinary exploration every step of the way.

Driven by his desire and ambition to be one of the best in the business, Chef Devan is embarking on a quest to research and create sensory experiences that modernizes the craft, traditions, and tastes of East and West Indian cuisines. Proudly Guyanese-Canadian with strong East Asian roots, Chef Devan seeks to share his lifelong personal love of culture and heritage through the story of food with the world.

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Chef Devan is a stalwart chef expert on the continentally syndicated morning program Cityline and a Food Network judge on the critically acclaimed program, Fire Masters. He is a much sought-after brand ambassador and culinary subject matter expert with a keen skill for live demonstrations both in person and live. Chef Devan not only satisfies everyday food lovers but dedicates time to youth mentorship and community service.

The ‘essence’ of Chef Devan can be found in retail counters across the country with his line of signature soups and sauces he developed for the everyday home cook.

Recipe: Guyanese Mango Curry with Amchur Masala & Lemon Basmati Rice

Prep Time: 10 min | Cook Time: 30 min| Yield 4
2lb Green Mango, quartered
1 onion, finely sliced
4 cloves garlic
4 wiri wiri peppers, finely chopped
OR 1 Scotch Bonnet
2 cinnamon sticks
2-3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp amchur masala
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp grapeseed oil
Water for boiling

Amchur Masala:
2 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tsp black peppercorn
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds

1. For amchur masala, add all whole spices to a large sauté pan on low medium heat and toast gently until fragrant and lightly smoking. Remove from heat and use a a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle to grind. Set aside until required.
2. Bring a medium sized pot of water to a gentle boil. Add mango and cook until soft, approximately 10 minutes.
3. Reserve 1 ½ cups of water and drain.
4. In a large pan on medium high heat add grapeseed oil.
5. Add onion, salt and sauté until golden brown.
6. Add garlic, wiri wiri pepper, cinnamon sticks and sauté.
7. Add mango to the pan with 2 tbsp amchur masala, one cup of reserved water and stir to combine.
8. Add brown sugar, garam masala and cook to combine, approximately 10
minutes. Adjust seasoning if necessary and serve.



2 teaspoons canola oil
1 cup basmati rice, rinsed
1 (2 inch) piece of fresh ginger, minced
1 lemon, juiced and zested
2 cups water
salt and pepper to taste


Rinse and soak the rice for 30 minutes.

In a medium pot over medium heat add canola oil, ginger, and lemon zest together in the hot oil for about 1 minute.

Add the lemon and ginger mix with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil.

Strain the rice and add it to a pot of boiling water. Cover the pot and reduce to a simmer for 12 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Season with salt and pepper.



2 induction cooktop
1 spatula
1 wooden spoon
2 sauce pan
1 strainer
1 pot

Sunday, April 2

1:00 – 2:00 pm

Erica Karbelnik


Chef Erica Karbelnik began cooking at a young age with her mom by her side, hosting weekly dinner parties and recipe testing. It was there, in her home kitchen, that sparked her passion for culinary arts.

At 17, chef Erica started cooking professionally. She worked as an apprentice under chef Mark McEwan at ONE Restaurant, which led to a full-time position. Since, chef Erica has travelled across the globe, bringing flavours from each country into her cooking. She has gone back and forth from Toronto to Vancouver, working alongside some of Canada’s most recognized chefs, training in French Italian cuisine and specializing in handmade pasta.

Instagram: @ChefEricaK
Facebook: @ChefEricaK
TikTok: @ChefEricaK

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Chef Erica competed alongside her husband and fellow chef, Josh Karbelnik, in Food Network Canada’s Top Chef Canada, where she took home the title and grand prize. During this competition, she honed into her Moroccan Israeli background bringing those flavours to the table and finding her stride in her cooking style. Recently, Chef Erica represented Canada in the V1 Campeonato Mundial De Tapas in Spain against 15 of the worlds best for the chance to earn the title. She has also been named the Culinary Ambassador of NBA Courtside Restaurant where she will oversee its globally inspired menu created by Executive Chef Myles Sam.

Recipe: Seared Scallop with Fennel Pistachio Puree

Serves: 4 people

Fennel Puree
1 large head fennel, tops on
350 ml 35 % cream
150 ml water
2 tbsp unsweetened pistachio paste
1 orange, zested
1 handful spinach
½ tsp salt, to taste

12 pc large U10 scallops, cleaned
1 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
2 tbsp unsalted butter 
½ tsp kosher salt, to taste

1 cup raw pistachio, shelled and peeled
2 tbsp fresh cumin seed
2 tbsp fresh coriander seed
1 tsp kosher salt

2 oranges, segmented and segments cut into thirds
1 tbsp olive oil
2 red anaheim chilis
½ cup fennel fronds

For the Fennel Puree:
1. Remove tops of fennel and set aside. 
2. Slice fennel in half, and then thinly slice on a mandolin. 
3. Place fennel in a pot and cover with water and cream. 
4. Simmer fennel until it becomes very soft. 
5. Strain the fennel and reserve the liquid. 
6. Place fennel in a blender with a handful of spinach, zest of 1 orange, pistachio paste, and about 1/3 of the cooking liquid. 
7. Puree until smooth, if the mixture seems too thick add in more cooking liquid.

For the Dukkah:
1. Toast spices in a pan and then transfer to a spice grinder, grind down leaving mixture slightly coarse. 
1. Place in a food processor with pistachios and salt and grind again until the mix is small but coarse. 
2. Set aside.

For the Scallops: 
1. Place a non-stick pan on medium-high heat. Get the pan nice and hot and then add in your oil. 
2. Season scallops with salt and place them flat down in the pan.
3. Sear for about 2 minutes until nice and carmelized on one side. Do not flip until some golden colour and a nice crust has formed. 
4. Add in your butter and baste the scallops. Now quickly flip the scallops over and keep basting.
5. Once flipped, scallops should only be in the pan for about 30 seconds. Scallops should be white and opaque on the outside but still glossy and slightly translucent on the inside.

To Plate:
1. Lay puree down and then place scallops on top. 
2. Lightly sprinkle dukkah onto the plate on the sides of the scallops. 
3. Garnish the plate with orange segments, some anaheim chili rounds, olive oil and fennel tops.


Equipment List

Induction cooktop (2 or 3)
Blender (Vitamix, preferred)
Food processor 
Cutting boards
Mixing bowls
Non-stick pan 
Water Glasses
Paper Towel
Spray Bottles
Hand Soap

2:30 – 3:30 pm

Chris Straker


Executive Chef at Holt Renfrew and Operator of Chris Straker Culinary
A Chef that loves executing a variety of dishes, using numerous cooking techniques with Caribbean ingredients, as well as local and sustainable products. He has an emphasis on bold flavours.

He previously worked with Chef Paul Boehmer, a Canadian Iron Chef Winner and Robert Sulatycky who came 4th at Bocuse D’or and a head coach of the US culinary team.

Chef Chris Straker has had very favourable reviews by Amy Pataki and Toronto Life and has appeared on Toronto 1 and City TV.

Recipe: Bajan Fish Cakes

Yield: 12 pieces / 4 portions
Amount Unit Ingredient

150 g Onion (Small Dice)
65 g A/P Flour
5 g Baking Powder
1 Egg (Beaten)
5 g Scotch Bonnet Pepper
1 g Curly Parsley (Chopped)
1 g Marjoram (Chopped)
300 g Salt Cod (Boneless/Skinless
120 g Water


1. Place the cod in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil

2. Discard the water and cover the fish again with water and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 5 minutes
3. Discard the water again and cover with cold water and let sit for 5 minutes
4. Drain all of the water off and then flake the fish into small pieces with your hands or fork
5. In a large bowl, place the egg and water and mix together

6. Add the flaked fish and all other ingredients to the bowl and mix to a thick consistency
7. Adjust with more water or flour as needed

8. Add enough oil to a pan for frying (about 5 inches deep), and heat to 350 F
9. With a soup spoon shape some of the batter (about 1 oz) and drop into the oil
10. As they start to cook, more them around to cook evenly to a golden colour
11. Remove and reserve on paper towel to absorb any excess oil



Induction Cooktop X 2
Mixing Bowls X 2
Pots X 2
Kitchen Towels
Cling Wrap
Hand Soap
Dish Soap
Dish Sponge

4:00 – 5:00 pm

Massimo Capra


Chef, Restaurateur, Cookbook Author, TV Personality Capra is an award-nominated cookbook author, who’s popularity has earned him to be considered one of Canada’s most entertaining and endearing celebrity Chefs.

Capra is no stranger to TV being the host of his own show Gourmet Escapes and is a regular guest expert on City TV’s long running show Cityline, was a chef host on Food Network’s hit series Restaurant Makeover, and a resident judge on the hit show Chopped Canada. Currently Chef Capra is on Wall of Chefs Food Network’s newest primetime cooking competition series

Recipe: Agnolotti del Plin

Agnolotti Filling

100 grams roasted pork, ground.
100 grams roasted chicken, ground.
100 grams prosciutto crudo
1/2cup dry Bread Crumb
½ cup Milk
1 Egg
100gr grated Padano or Parmigiano
A pinch of Nutmeg
Salt & Pepper to taste

Grind all the meat to a fine paste. Soak bread crumb with warm milk for about 10 minutes, then add it to the meat along with the egg, the cheese, and season with nutmeg, salt and pepper to your taste.

Mix well to form a paste and set aside.

For the Pasta:

200gr of “00” Flour + more for the rolling
2 eggs
10ml Water

Mix the flour in metal bowls with the egg and the water until incorporated, turn onto a wood (preferred) surface and knead smooth. Cover with the bowl to prevent drying and rest for about 30 minutes

Assemble the agnolotti.



Food processor or meat grinder
Pasta dough Sheeter
Wooden board